SEATTLE — The combo of Terrell Brown Jr. and Emmitt Matthews Jr. carried Washington enough to hang on to a victory despite a late-game drought by the Huskies.
Brown scored 26 points, Matthews added 15 points and 11 rebounds, and Washington held on in the closing seconds for a 60-58 win over Colorado on Thursday night.
Washington (10-8, 5-3 Pac-12 Conference) won for the fourth time in five games, taking control with a 19-3 run that spanned more than eight minutes of the second half only to watch the Buffaloes rally in the closing minutes. Washington led by 15 with less than nine minutes left, but had to nervously watch Jabari Walker’s jumper that would have forced overtime hit off the front rim in the final seconds.
“These guys are a really resilient group. We’re playing better. We’re showing signs,” Washington coach Mike Hopkins said. “To be able to get up 15 points … against a really good Colorado team shows a lot.”
It was far from a perfect performance by the Huskies. Brown was great again, making 10 of 17 shots and topped 20 points for the 11th time this season
But the Huskies missed multiple chances to put the game away, going the final eight minutes with just one basket and going scoreless the final 4:18. Washington finished 4-of-17 shooting on 3s and made 8 of 17 at the free-throw line.
Walker led Colorado (13-7, 5-5) with 14 points but was the only player in double figures for the Buffaloes. Colorado picked up an impressive road victory at Oregon on Tuesday but suffered just its second loss this season to an unranked team. The Buffaloes’ previous five losses had come against teams ranked in The AP Top 25.
Colorado has lost three of four and four of six overall, but three of those have been against USC, UCLA and Arizona.
Colorado was its own enemy for most of the second half. The Buffaloes missed nine of their first 11 shots to begin the half but their bigger issue was turnovers. Colorado had eight turnovers while Washington was on its run. The Huskies finished the game with 16 steals and 21 points off Colorado turnovers.
Colorado has committed at least 16 turnovers in four straight games.
“We were somehow still in this game today and we gave up 15 offensive rebounds,” Walker said. “It’s tough to win when you’re doing that.”
Washington led 52-37 after Nate Roberts’ lob dunk with 9:52 remaining and 57-42 after a Matthews’ 3-pointer 90 seconds later. But the Buffaloes stopped committing turnovers and started making shots and pulled within 59-53 on Walker’s dunk with 4:45 left.
After several empty possessions for both teams, Elijah Parquet’s 3-pointer with 1:23 left pulled Colorado to 60-56. Julian Hammond III made a pair of free throws with 58 seconds left and Washington’s lead was down to two. Walker’s chance to force overtime missed and Washington escaped.
“Once I saw us scrambling around I just tried to get as close to the basket as possible and post up,” Walker said.
Colorado: The Buffaloes played without starting forward Tristan da Silva, who missed the game with a non-COVID-19 illness. Da Silva had started every game this season and was averaging 12.1 points over the previous seven games for the Buffs. He scored a career-high 22 points against Washington earlier this month.
Washington: Hopkins returned to the sideline after missing two games last week while in COVID-19 protocol. Assistant Will Conroy served as the acting head coach for Washington’s split against the Oregon schools last week.
Colorado closes out its road trip at Washington State on Sunday.
Washington hosts Utah on Saturday.